Grits Parade Chairman George Bailey announced the parade marshal for the 2013 World Grits Festival Parade, which will be held in St. George on Saturday, April 13 at 11 a.m.
Mr. Rut Murray is this year's parade marshal.
Murray is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Murray, Sr., and he grew up in Holly Hill. At the age of 18 he entered the service, serving in the 103rd Infantry Division during World War II. At the age of 19 he was shipped overseas where he participated in many different battles in France and Germany. His division was involved in the invasion of southern France. Captured by the Germans near the German border, Murray became a prisoner of war. He was predominately a transit prisoner; he was forced to walk 375 kilometers during the coldest winter on record in Germany. On April 27, 1945, he was liberated by the American Army. Weighing only 97 pounds, he was put on a hospital ship heading for New York. There he was greeted by the beautiful sight of Lady Liberty. Murray makes his home in St. George with his wife Dotsie. They are the parents of two children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Bailey said as he was visiting with the Murrays he was reminded of the words of Father Dennis O'Brien, a U.S. Marine Corps chaplain.
“It is the soldier not the president who gives us democracy. It is the soldier not the Congress of the United States who takes care of us. It is the soldier, not the poet who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the campaign organizer who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag that allows the protesters to burn the flag.”
Bailey said, “As I read this I thought of many local servicemen, such as Grady Murray, Jim Bilton, Lon Colson, Bill Jacques and others who gave us so much.”
“To all of our men and women in uniform, past present and future – God bless you and thank you for your service. God bless America,” Bailey said.